Pickup trucks are popular vehicles for their functionality, off-road capabilities, and towing power. But the ones you often see on the road are different from dually trucks, especially in size, strength, and load capacity. Dually is a widebody vehicle with distinct muscular fenders and a brawny stance.
If you’re searching the market for a new vehicle with the best towing capacity, then a dually truck is a better choice. We are also going to list some of the best dually trucks for towing heavy loads.
Dually vs. non-dually
The Single Rear Wheel (SRW) is typical for many standard pickup trucks, whether midsize or full-size. The dually looks like a standard pickup, but it’s categorized as Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) because of its size and rear axle-and-wheel setup.
The four-wheel setup in standard pickup trucks is enough for most daily drivers. However, they can only provide limited towing capacity. Despite the limitations, they still have many upsides like better fuel economy, comfortable ride quality, and advanced safety tech features. They are also more affordable than DRW and easier to drive and park.
Even if you add a gooseneck hitch to both SRW and DRW trucks, the one with dually wheels can still out-tow the four-wheeled version by thousands of pounds. It can handle a more considerable payload weight from the added rear wheels and robust rear axle. It also provides more towing capacity than single rear wheel counterparts.
Best dually trucks
If you search the used car market for DRWs, there’s only a slim chance of finding one. But if you go for brand-new ones, we listed some of the best dually trucks to buy in 2021.
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
Chevrolet stepped up the game with its heavy-duty truck. Built with a Duramax turbo-diesel 6.6-liter V-8 engine, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD also has a 10-speed Allison transmission with 3.42:1 axle gear. It can tow up a maximum of 36,000 pounds and a payload of 7,442 pounds. All variants have long beds and are available in regular, double, and crew cab options.
2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD
The GMC Sierra 3500HD is like a twin of the Silverado because of its similar Duramax turbo-diesel 6.6-liter V-8 engine, 10-speed Allison transmission with 3.42:1 axle gear, and tow capacity of 36,000 pounds.
Even if the GMC Sierra 3500HD is mechanically similar to Silverado, it has a different appearance because of its modern design and revamped front-end. The regular cab two-wheel drive, DRW configuration with the Max Tow package is one of the best vehicles to include on your must-buy dually.
Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks
The single-rear-wheel Ford F-Series are selling like hotcakes. But it seems that the automaker doesn’t want to stop there because their F-Series Super Duty trucks are among the best dually trucks to purchase due to their superb hauling and towing power.
- 2021 Ford F-350 Super Duty
One of the nice trucks you can purchase is a configured regular cab two-wheel-drive DRW, powered by Power Stroke turbo-diesel 6.7-liter V-8 engine and 10-speed TorqShift transmission with 4.10:1 axle gear. The dually setup can tow 35,750 pounds. If you want an excellent payload capacity, this has a maximum capacity of 7,850 pounds.
The F-350 is available in SRW and DRW configurations. The standard 6.2-liter V-8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission; and the 7.3-liter V-8 engine (that adds $1,705 to the price tag) are the two gas engine options. All are made with an 8-foot bed and are available in different cab configurations such as regular cab, super cab, and crew cab.
- 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty
The F-450 is built with a Power Stroke turbo-diesel 6.7-liter V-8 engine. It also has a 10-speed TorqShift transmission with 4.30:1 axle gear. The gooseneck tow rating of this Super Duty truck is a staggering 37,000 pounds when properly configured.
All F-450s have an 8-foot bed and are available in regular cab and 4-door crew cab options. Unlike F-350, this Ford dually has no gasoline engine option but only a 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo-diesel engine with it.
Benefits of dually
The extra rear wheels provide additional benefits such as:
- Can carry heavier weights due to maximum payload and towing capacities.
- Compared to standard pickup, it’s easier to drive even when hauling heavy loads.
- The improved traction ensures safety when driving in rainy and windy conditions.
- If one of the rear tires gets flat, the remaining rear tires will temporarily carry the load.
- The torque is transmitted to the road because the axle is better and more powerful, providing more efficient power transfer.
- The wheels and tires in dually have a longer life than SRWs.
Modifications and upgrades
Unlike the single rear wheel counterparts, dually trucks can be uncomfortable because the ride quality is not its greatest selling point. But don’t worry, there’s still hope in improving the ride quality on DRW vehicles—by doing some suspension upgrades.
Replacing the old truck shocks and putting new application-specific, replacing adjustable shocks is a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the ride quality. This modification requires changing the rig’s old leaf-spring for ride improvements. It also enhances its ability to perform as a reliable workhorse.
This modification is applied to three-quarters or 1-ton pickup trucks with rear leaf springs. Having new quality shocks enables you to dial in the ride’s firmness or softness. It also improves the handling when cruising at average speed or driving fast on the freeway. It will also help in eliminating the “stiff” ride on this heavy-duty vehicle.
Stronger axles and hubs
A dually truck is not necessarily for everyone but the size and towing capacity matters for some consumers. Superior towing and payload capacities are crucial when towing something like a fifth-wheel trailer or other heavy loads.
The axle in DRWs is significantly more robust than the weight-bearing rear axle on SRWs. The “full floating” configuration makes them sturdier and allows you to tow an additional thousand pounds. The bearing hubs located in the outer ends of the axle bear the weight of the truck.
This heavy-duty rig lets you haul an excess of 20,000 pounds and transport payloads in the 7,000-pound range. Thanks to the extra set of rear wheels, they accommodate and spread out the added weight.
Extra wheels, extra pull
The special axle and wheel structure set the dually trucks apart from standard pickups due to their higher payload and towing potential.
If you’re seriously considering purchasing a dually truck, you must have some extreme heavy hauling to do. With two wheels instead of one, the dually distributes the mass more evenly and lets you enjoy improved stability when towing substantial weight.